Senator Janet Nguyen and members of the Senate Republican Caucus are calling on Governor Jerry Brown to return $331 million of mortgage settlement funds that were inappropriately spent by the State of California in 2012 to pay down the debt. The funds, which were paid by five of the country's largest banks as part of a settlement for mortgage service improprieties, were used to bridge the state's budget shortfall instead of going to help distressed homeowners.
In an effort to recoup the funds, the National Asian American Coalition, the COR Community Development Corporation and the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference filed a lawsuit against Governor Brown. Earlier this month, a court agreed with the non-profit organizations, ruling that the funds had in fact been misused. According to Judge Timothy Frawley's ruling, the funds are to be returned when there are "sufficient and reasonable funds available for this purpose".
“With budget revenues at $13 billion higher than a year ago, Governor Brown should take some of that additional funding to comply with Judge Frawley’s order,” said Senator Janet Nguyen. "These funds were supposed to help homeowners avoid foreclosure and any further delay in the return of these monies can result in immeasurable negative impacts to homeowners, including property loss."
Following the ruling, Senator Nguyen was approached by representatives of the non-profit organizations to champion before the State of California for the timely return of the money. In response, Senator Nguyen proposed to her Senate Republican Caucus colleagues the idea of sending a letter to Governor Brown advocating on behalf of the thousands of distressed homeowners throughout the State of California.
"I want to thank my colleagues for their support of my letter and I hope that Governor Brown will listen and do what is best for the 800,000 struggling homeowners in California. The money needs to be returned to its rightful place so that it can be used for counseling and educational services that are extremely necessary," said Senator Janet Nguyen.